Tweet - To Who?
New media entrepreneur Steve Outing reckons news sites should turn to Twitter when it comes to reporting breaking news stories.
Outing asserts that the micro-blogging service provides the perfect place for journalists to submit quick updates - known as tweets - by mobile phone when they are in the middle of a major news event on their patch.
The blogger suggests in his Poynter Online column that editors should set up a dedicated Twitter feed alongside a breaking-news blog to ensure readers get the latest happenings.
Outing writes: “With reporters filing short bits from their cell phones, you’ll be able to offer your audience new information even faster than you could with a breaking-news blog.
“Feed this to your site and to subscribed cell phone alerts. Urge your readers to ‘follow’ your breaking-news Twitter stream from their own Twitter accounts.”
He adds that editors should ensure they place “a cautionary warning that this is raw news coverage from your reporters and early reports could be unverified” and “make an effort to tweet updated information if an earlier report proves wrong”.
Outing concludes: “Important news is getting out ever faster and I’ll contend that it’s important to keep up, lest you be beaten by your Twittering competitors.”
Set up last year, Twitter is a free micro-blogging and social networking site which enables users to keep each other informed via texts, instant messages and email.
It has quickly become a hub for reporters from around the world who use the site to glean story tips and share news.
Waxing lyrical on the joy of tweets is media consultant Marshall Kirkpatrick in his latest blog post.